The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different growth media on rooting of stem cuttings of hybrid coffee varieties. The experiment was conducted on-station under a shade house at Tanzania Coffee Research Institute (TaCRI) from October 2013 to February 2014 using a split plot experiment in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with four replications. The main factor consisted of five hybrid coffee varieties (KP423-1, KP423-2, N39-3, N39-2 and N39-7) and the sub-factor consisted of five types of rooting media (red soil, peat moss, decomposed saw dust, rice husk and forest soil + fine sand 2:1 (v/v) as a control). The stem cuttings were planted in each type of the media and four months after planting, the cuttings were evaluated based on number of rooted cuttings, total number of roots per cutting, number of lateral roots per cutting and root length. The data were subjected to analysis of variance using CoStat software and treatment means were separated based on Tukey’s test at P ≤ 0.05. Results indicate that coffee varieties N39-2 and N39-3 produced the highest rooted stem cuttings of 64.2 and 63.9% respectively. Results also show that red soil media provided the highest rooted stem cuttings of 77.9% followed by sawdust with 68.0%. It is recommended that propagators should use red soil as a rooting media for improving rooting percentage of stem cuttings from improved coffee varieties. Further studies are required to improve chemical and physical properties of red soil media.
Key words: Hybrid coffee, mass multiplication, propagation, rooting media, stem cuttings.
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